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What David Horowitz and My Irish Mother Know About Baseball

Posted on April 7 2010 1:39 pm
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When my mother immigrated to America from Ireland in 1959, the first thing she learned about was Baseball. Her stipend from nursing school was small, so once she had climbed to her perch in the nose-bleeds, she was not only in “Baseball- Heaven” emotionally, but darn close physically.

In 1974, then living in San Jose, California, she packed her three children into the station wagon and took us to a local shopping center to get autographs from her favorite player, Rollie Fingers and his teammate, Ray Fosse. To this day she agrees with George Will that there are only two seasons in a year, Baseball Season, and the rest of the time.

A shy girl, thousands of miles from home, my mother had connected with the other excited fans and the teams she loved. Though she came from a hard farm-life in County Mayo, she had found something in common with her fellow students and workers of New York City. Yankee Stadium was her melting pot. My mom became an American cheering Whitey Ford and Yogi Berra.

In their great posts, Obama Loses Man Card: His Little White (Sox) Lie and Obama Throws The Opening Day First Pitch, Cannot Name One Player From His Favorite Baseball Team – Who Is This Man? Paul Cooper and John L. Work, respectively underline the hard-hitting facts behind Obama’s inability to name a single player from the team he loved.

Paul Cooper rails:

“The guy has used the White Sox as a connection to regular Americans for years, and it was obviously a political tool. He’s not the first politician to do it, but I thought he was going to be above political games.”

“Remember when Sarah Palin decided not to tell Katie Couric the names of any newspapers she reads? She is still dogged by that moment. People still think she is an idiot because she gave no specifics. Well Obama not only can’t think of any names of players, but he proves he’s been lying about being a lifelong White Sox fan all this time! Where is the coverage?”

And John L. Work points out:

“Obama talked about growing up in Hawaii, about also liking the Cubs, about being a one-time fan of the Oakland As – but he did not, or could not, name one White Sox player – from his favorite team. This is not an American President. During the interview he called Comiskey Park, where the White Sox used to play their games, “Kaminsky Park.”

I did not inherit my mother’s love of Baseball, but from simply living in the house with her (she had converted to the Oakland A’s by that time,) I could rattle off enough names to pass for an old A’s fan if I had to – Rollie Fingers, the man with the curly mustache, Catfish Hunter, Reggie Jackson, Sal Bando, and of course, Blue Moon Odom.

How did Obama live and work on the South side of Chicago and remain so detached from the culture that he didn’t hear and couldn’t remember one star of the local Baseball team? David Horowitz, speaking of his own childhood in New York, the son of Communist parents, remembers his own relationship with Baseball in his autobiography, Radical Son:

“I lived in two worlds, one was filled with the currency of the common culture – favorite radio programs like the Lone Ranger and the exciting new medium of television…There were shots of my sports heroes…towering over them all – the Yankee Clipper, Joe DiMaggio. In 1949, the Yankees were in a tight pennant race with the Boston Red Sox…but I couldn’t talk to my Dad about Joe DiMaggio. Professional Baseball, he had explained to me, was a form of capitalist exploitation, an elaborate capitalist plan to sell Wheaties as the “Breakfast of Champions.”

“Rather than being eccentric, my father’s attitude was typical. His disapproval made Baseball a guilty pleasure. Baseball was also political. Once the Dodgers hired Robinson, no conscientious progressive could be a Yankee fan. The Yankees were the ruling class of baseball: they were lily white and rich, and they always won. To root for the Yankees was to betray a lack of social consciousness that was unthinkable for people like us. My new allegiance had to remain an uncomfortable secret.”

Baseball is uniquely American, so it symbolized the anti-Revolution. It’s easy to understand that rejection of the sport was considered de rigueur for good Marxists. Did Obama learn this from his own radical Marxist mentors? Perhaps our analysis of what Cooper deftly dubs, “Obama’s “Little White (Sox) Lie” has simply not gone deep enough.

That Obama is a consummate, talented liar and that he used a fake allegiance to “blue-collar baseball” to appear Everyman, tells us much about him, but not enough. To understand the “Baseball gaff,” it is important to situate Baseball itself in the Marxist worldview, a world view held by Obama’s mentors and favored by his policies.

Seen in this light, it is possible that the “blank” he drew reveals an attitude towards a beloved American sport, an attitude of disdain for something so rooted in our culture. The President’s ignorance is consistent with the attitude embraced by Mr. Horowitz’s father, that Baseball is oppressive and ethically offensive, historically, institutionally and most importantly, symbolically, as the embodiment of American culture.

Baseball has seen many a president come and go. Long after Obama’s footprints have blown away in the wind, pitchers will stand on the mound where the first Marxist President served a ball that minor leaguers would have blushed about. From their perches in Baseball Heaven, the White Sox legends will, themselves, have a hard time remembering the South side “fan” who wore their cap and couldn’t, or wouldn’t remember their names.

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